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  Charles Olivieri-Munroe Review

The Chugoku Shimbun (morning edition), Thursday, 14 March 2019

Wealth of expressiveness _ Deft conducting

388th Subscription Concert of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra

Amidst the traditional Japanese Peach Festival season during a lovely sunshine, the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra held their 388th Subscription Concert (on 3rd March at the Hiroshima Bunka Gakuen HBG Hall located in Naka Ward, Hiroshima City). They welcomed conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe who is based in the Czech Republic and active internationally, and he performed works by Czech composers Dvorák and Smetana, as well as by Russian composer Tchaikovsky.

The 1st work was the overture to Dvorák's "Othello". Generous music flowed forth from the stature of Olivieri-Munroe's conducting. He expressed a deeply impressive storytelling of the work whilst illuminating a captivating expressiveness at every turn.

[The translation of this section has been omitted.]

The 3rd work performed was the orchestrated version of Smetana's String Quartet in E-minor "From My Life". This is a work where Smetana, having suffered hearing loss, carries that loss onto his life outlook. The work was orchestrated by eastern European-born conductor George Szell, where the featured wind and percussion instruments seem to have been cleverly devised in the orchestral arrangement. Naturally it depends on not only the skill of the orchestrator but also on the ability of the conductor, but the extent to which the palette of hues became multi-coloured was surprising. The shades and gradations of expressiveness became a multitude of colours through [Olivieri-Munroe's] delicately precise and graceful conducting. There were also repeated instances of intimate dialogues and harmonies between the instruments, where the various parts rose up nicely and resounded pleasantly.

At the joint performance with world-class conductor [Olivieri-Munroe], a dignified and refined sound of the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra was brought forth, and I felt this was a refreshingly impressive performance.

(Keiko HIRAMOTO, part-time lecturer and pianist, Elisabeth University of Music, Hiroshima City)

C.Olivieri-Munroe & Nordwestdeutsch Philharmonie

Die Glocke 6.6.2009
Conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe, with vibrant energy and charisma lead the orchestra [Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie] to top performance. Rich in gesture, he brought out the polyphonic textures of the work and a wonderful clarity in the resultant sound. The winds played with extraordinary power and fullness, while their solo playing shined with charm. One could sense that there was good communication between conductor and orchestra. Charles Olivieri-Munroe developed the whole range of lyrical and dramatic effects in his reading of Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony. He was a usical mediator of convincing sympathy.

Lippische Landeszeitung 6.6.2009

Charles Olivieri-Munroe provided violinist Boris Brovtsyn a brilliant bridge between to the orchestra. Fully attentive and unpretentious, he managed to merge in a truly exceptional way soloist and orchestra in this gripping performance of Brahms' Violin Concerto. The Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie flourished in Beethoven's "Eroica". Demonstrating a very fine and sensitive baton technique he created at poignant moments exceptional tension and excitement.

Westfalen-Blatt 7.6.2009
The evening's concert was noteworthy particularly for the conductor, Charles Olivieri-Munroe who jumped in at the last minute. Impressive was the harmonization he achieved in the orchestra's [Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie] performance. The "Eroica's" first movement was immediately launched with passionate energy at the same time maintaining a remarkable lightness. Introvert passages where contrasted well with extrovert episodes. A fiery finale was followed by a strong and extensive applause from the audience.

Neue Westfalische 7.6.2009

The musicians of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie were clearly motivated by their precise and energetic guest conductor, Charles Olivieri-Munroe. The young Canadian who was a last minute replacement had the absolute respect of the orchestra. He gave us a revolutionary and explosive "Eroica".


Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
March 12 & 13 2009

"Thursday and Friday Charles Olivieri-Munroe - the young Canadian maestro now with a long connection to the Czech Republic - had an opportunity to conduct the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra and impress the eager audience at Rudolfinum Hall already convinced of his indisputable talent. The program was not at all straightforward - a world premiere by a contemporary Belgian composer and a rarely heard monumental work by Mendelssohn. The latter's B major Symphony entitled 'Lobegesang' is in fact a symphony-cantata including three soloists and large chorus. Olivieri-Munroe led the whole ensemble to outstanding result. He succeeded also in getting an enthusiastic response from the audience for the performance of Boudewijn Cox's Symphony No.1 written on commission from the Czech Philharmonic whose composition provided particular interest through the use of exotic percussion instruments."

Music review: PRAVO newspaper/Culture section page 15 (17.3.2009)


"wie eine mischung aus Furtwangler und jungem Karajan"

"The leitmotif of the concert was clarity of sound. Convincing was its beauty and elegance which the young Canadian conductor, Charles Olivieri-Munroe elicited from the Philharmonic and how effectively he transformed lyricism to enormous passion in Tchaikovsky's First Symphony 'Winter Dreams'."
Hamburg / Schleswig-Holstein, 2006

" ...a specialist in Czech repertoire. This was quickly evident in the superior performance of Smetana's Sarka. This was the cream of the concert in purely performance terms, the Calgary Philharmonic performing with coiled energy and gracious lyricism as the music demanded. The CPO responded well to Olivieri-Munroe's clear and efficient conducting, the musical texture transparent and well balanced."
Calgary Herald, 2005

" Olivieri-Munroe proved a spirited, engaging and even charismatic conductor. A committed romanticist, he was fully attentive to coloristic and dramatic opportunities, and his fine sense of line seemed always guided by an equally fine sense of structure."
San Antonio Express, July 2005

" ...wie eine mischung aus Furtwangler und jungem Karajan"
Sudewestdeutsche Zeitung, 2004

" An excellent showcase for Olivieri-Munroe's accomplished conducting style. Of all the guest conductors I have seen this year, this natural leader put on the most engaging podium performance."
Edmonton Journal, Jan 2004

" The Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra once again proved that under strong and inspirational leadership it is able to flourish. Precisely that type of leadership was demonstrated with distinct gestures clearly expressing the inner workings of the music led by the young Canadian conductor Charles Olivieri-Munroe."
Prague Lidovy Noviny, 2004

" Charles Olivieri-Munroe showed off a broad, smooth expressive style with wonderful shaping of contrasts and punching up of rythmic elements... In fact he so energized the musicians of the TSO that this reviewer hopes he makes many many return visits. The overall effect was the sonic equivalent of watching one's first DVD after years of mediocre VHS cassettes. The orchestra was crisp and balanced with memorable verve."
Toronto Star, 2003

" Olivieri-Munroe proved to be an abvious candidate for the position of chief conductor for the Holland Symfonia: he conducts in a competent and authoritative way, with elegant, suggestive, original and effective gestures. The well played varied and ambiguous music by Shostakovitch sounded the way it should: exciting and virtuosic, but also mature."
NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands national newspapers), Kasper Jansen 2002

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